On May 5, 2015, we invite members of the entire community to participate in Lowcountry Giving Day, a 24-hour online fundraising event sponsored by the Coastal Community Foundation. In 2014, Lowcountry Giving Day raised over $4M, the highest amount collected in 24 hours of giving in similar challenges among all 50 states.
This year the Gibbes Museum is participating and proceeds from this event will support the Gibbes capital campaign that will transform the Museum and provide a state-of-the art cultural center for the community. It is hard to believe that in 2016 we will be moving back into a restored Beaux Arts building with innovative galleries and public spaces where art, technology, and interpretation blend to inspire explorations of the Museum’s collection.
Recently, a Gibbes patron stated that “an art museum is an invaluable cornerstone to civic coherence and cultural identity.” Refocusing on the Museum’s foundation as an academy-style institution will allow the Gibbes to serve as a center for content-rich arts education. Not only will the entire first floor serve as a center for education and community engagement, but also allow the on-site studios, classrooms, and lecture space to increase opportunities for hands-on, process-driven learning. A rear reception area and lecture facility, which link to the redesigned Lenhardt garden, will be perfect for corporate meetings or intimate dinners and receptions. In addition, the first floor will provide a pedestrian walkway along the historic Gateway Walk from sites on the Meeting Street Museum Mile to the busy King Street shopping district. A beautifully refurbished Museum store and a new café will greet visitors upon their entrance.
This renewal of the Gibbes, through a five-year, $13.4M capital campaign will offer visitors to Charleston an opportunity to understand the significant role Charleston has played and continues to play in the history of American art. With fully-restored galleries and exhibition spaces, and the installation of furniture and silver from the Rivers Collection of Southern Decorative Art, visitors will gain a comprehensive interpretation of the region’s exceptional artistic achievement during the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Since 2011, and during the silent phase of the campaign, pledges and contributions of $10.9 million have been received from the City of Charleston, Charleston County, and the Town of Kiawah Island as well as from individuals, foundations, and corporations. We are thrilled to have received national attention over the summer with the awards of $100,000 from The Henry Luce Foundation in New York, and $250,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, DC. Additionally, we received a $250,000 gift from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. This past December we also were fortunate to receive a generous grant from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation in the amount of $150,000 for the miniature portrait collection. Since the start of our capital campaign, we have raised approximately $2.6M per year, which has put us in reach of our goal to raise $13.4 million by 2016. This is in addition to the $1 million raised annually to support operations.
We still need your support! We are on the homestretch and we hope that you will consider supporting the Gibbes on May 5th through Lowcountry Giving Day. Even more exciting is that your gift will be increased by an incentive gift provided by generous donors. Visit lowcountrygivingday.org on that day to make an online gift or, if you prefer to send a check, please note that it will only be accepted from Monday, April 20 to Friday, April 24. For more information on the current renovation, please visit our renovation website to see the transformation or contact me Jen Ross, Director of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 843.722.2706 X16 for more information.
—Jennifer Ross, director of development